Loose lips sink reputations

Politicians tend to get in trouble when they stray from their carefully prepared scripts. Such was the case last week when Alberta’s finance minister made some controversial remarks after delivering what was probably a pretty conventional speech about this province to the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto.

Politicians tend to get in trouble when they stray from their carefully prepared scripts.

Such was the case last week when Alberta’s finance minister made some controversial remarks after delivering what was probably a pretty conventional speech about this province to the Economic Club of Canada in Toronto.

In case you missed it, Iris Evans went off on a bit of a tangent after her formal speech — stating that to raise children “properly,” one parent should stay home while the other goes to work.

The MLA for Sherwood Park said she expects to have successful grandchildren because of the way she raised her kids.

“And they’ve understood perfectly well that when you’re raising children, you don’t both go off to work and leave them for somebody else to raise,” she explained.

Evans also suggested there is a link between a lack of education and mental illness or criminal behaviour.

“The huge failure of Canadians is not to educate the children properly and then why should we be surprised when they have mental illnesses or commit dreadful crimes?” she said.

Not surprisingly, Alberta Liberal Leader David Swann was quick to cry foul.

He said the former minister of children’s services is obviously out of touch with the need for both parents, in many Alberta families, to work outside the home just to make ends meet.

“And it just illustrates a very narrow, backward look at what’s happening in our society today; where she’s blaming two working parents for bad children’s outcomes,” added Swann.

He said if Evans didn’t apologize publicly for her comments, his party would pressure the premier to reprimand or fire her. She has since apologized.

So what are we to make of all of this? Here are a couple of observations:

l Evans is probably correct in noting that children are often better off in homes where one parent stays home with them while are young. However, she missed the boat by not pointing out that many families can’t afford to do that, and that countless single parents have raised happy, successful offspring.

l The finance minister might be correct in suggesting there is some correlation between a lack of education and criminal behaviour, but connecting a lack of education with mental illness sounds wrong. If there is any research backing up that relationship, Evans should point it out to the general public and the media.

Interestingly, in her Toronto remarks, Evans said she made it her mission to teach her children how to handle money.

Now, as adults, they live in good houses, have topped up their RRSPs and have plenty of savings.

Ironically, as finance minister, Evans appears to be spending more money per capita than any of her counterparts in other Canadian provinces. Does that suggest her parents didn’t teach her how to handle money correctly?

Furthermore, if Evans is so big on parents staying home with their kids, why doesn’t her government give Albertans a financial incentive so that more of us could afford to do that?

Lee Giles is an Advocate editor.

Just Posted

Cannabis legalization won’t impact one Red Deer pot dispensary

Nothing changes for Compass Cannabis Clinic in Red Deer despite legalization

Cannabis retail store will open later in October in Red Deer

Two cannabis stores coming to downtown Red Deer

Neighbours drop opposition to Red Deer County communications tower

Communication tower to be located in Balmoral Heights

Legal cannabis comes with many unknowns: Red Deer County councillors

Councillors question how rural municipalities will be able to enforce cannabis regulations

Kitten season puts pressure on Red Deer shelter

More public education needed to control cat population

WATCH: Two weeks away from Canadian Finals Rodeo in Red Deer

In just two weeks, Ponoka’s Shayna Weir will compete with the best… Continue reading

Wickenheiser, Pegula reflect NHL’s trend toward diversity

BUFFALO, N.Y. — With a laugh, Kim Pegula’s competitive nature kicked in… Continue reading

Harry and Meghan bring rain to drought-stricken Outback town

DUBBO, Australia — The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were jokingly thanked… Continue reading

TV Review: A Roseanne Barr-less ‘The Conners’ is a triumph

NEW YORK — Can there be a “Roseanne” without Roseanne? The answer… Continue reading

Canadian manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent in August: Statistics Canada

OTTAWA — Statistics Canada says manufacturing sales fell 0.4 per cent to… Continue reading

Brian Mulroney joins board of directors of New York-based pot company

NEW YORK — Former prime minister Brian Mulroney is joining the board… Continue reading

Canadians waking up to legalized cannabis: ‘My new dealer is the prime minister’

ST. JOHN’S, N.L. — Canadians across the country woke up to legalized… Continue reading

B.C. man accused of swimming naked in Toronto shark tank arrested in Thunder Bay

THUNDER BAY, Ont. — Police have arrested a B.C. man who is… Continue reading

‘Start low, go slow’: Experts walk bud beginners through cannabis 101

With the countdown to cannabis legalization Wednesday ticking towards 4-20, some novice… Continue reading

Most Read